Pastor urges community to be vigilant against gun violence
I am writing to inform your readership, my friends and neighbors in Orleans County, that June 2 marks the annual observance of National Gun Violence Awareness Day, also known as “Wear Orange Day.” It is the beginning of a month long campaign to raise awareness, learn more about gun violence and to use what we learn to help reduce the devastating effects of gun violence on society.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
•There are more than 30,000 firearm fatalities each year in the United States and more than 80,000 non-fatal injuries requiring emergency medical care or hospitalization.
• Firearms are involved in more than half of suicides and more than two-thirds of homicides in the United States.
• The financial cost of gun violence in the United States was an estimated 174 billion dollars in 2010.
This is not the first letter I have written to express my concerns about gun violence. I asked these same friends and neighbors in a letter a couple years ago to imagine with me a world without gun violence. I’m no stranger to the effects of gun violence. My small effort to keep this issue in the public eye comes from grieving and caring for the families of three good friends who committed suicide using a gun.
Reducing the tragic harm from gun violence that we have seen occur in mass shootings, and in daily incidents of gang shootings, intimate partner violence, impulsive suicide and accidental shootings is the goal of this national effort.
I will be wearing an orange bracelet this month.
Rev. Tom Gardner
Holley First Presbyterian Church